The better you store your canoe, the longer it is likely to last (and look good). The single best advice is to store your canoe inside. If that's not possible, try to store it in a shaded location.
Protect Against the Sun
Protect Against the Weather
Prolonged exposure to cold or wet weather can cause some hull materials to oxidize and/or degrade.
- Again, storing your canoe indoors is the best protection.
- If you store your boat outside, make sure it's protected from precipitation and that rain or snow can't collect in the tarp and press down on the hull.
- If you store your boat outside or in an unheated building, be aware that repeated freezing and thawing can cause damage to fiberglass boats if water has seeped into seams, joints or cracks in the hull (it will expand and contract as it freezes and melts).
- Extreme cold can damage wood gunwales and deck plates. Be sure to maintain all the wood pieces on your canoe as recommended by the manufacturer.
Protect Against Theft
The best way to protect your canoe against theft is to store it inside. If you must store it outdoors:
- Keep it hidden from view as much as possible.
- Position it so that it's difficult for a thief to grab it quickly and run.
- In high-crime areas, thread a durable security cable through a sturdy part of the boat (like a thwart or carry handle) and connect it to a post, fence or building.
Practices to avoid:
- Storing your canoe upside down on the ground, which is too harsh on the gunwales.
- Supporting your canoe from its ends only.
- Standing it up on one end.
- Hanging it from its grab handles or thwarts.
- Laying it down on its side on a flat surface for long periods of time.
- Storing it near a significant heat source like a furnace or water heater.
Additional Storage Tips
- If you paddle in saltwater, be sure to rinse your boat thoroughly with fresh water before you store it. Saltwater can degrade hull materials and corrode metal parts.
- Maintain all wooden gunwales and deck plates following the guidelines of the canoe manufacturer. Failure to do so may cause these pieces to dry out, crack, warp or weather during storage.